Gerald William Clayton is a jazz pianist and composer born in Utrecht, Netherlands and raised in Southern California.
He is the son of bassist/bandleader John Clayton and the nephew of multi-instrumentalist wind player Jeff Clayton.
Gerald Clayton studied classical piano for eleven years, starting at the age of seven and jazz piano and composition with Donald Vega, Shelly Berg, Kenny Barron and Billy Childs.
He graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 2002. At graduation, he was selected by the Music for Youth Foundation as one of four young musicians to receive a scholarship and perform at Steinway Hall.
In September, 2002, he received the Shelly Manne Award for emerging young artists from the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
In 2006, he received the Bachelor of Arts degree through the Jazz Studies program at USC Thornton School of Music; a program that included his father as senior lecturer.
He also took second place in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition.
Clayton believes that for jazz to survive tradition and innovation can peacefully coexist.
Besides his trio, Clayton currently tours with The Clayton Brothers and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. He has performed in a duo with his father, John Clayton and appears regularly at the Jazz Gallery in New York, where his own compositions are presented. He has taken part in several world tours with the Roy Hargrove Quintet.